Saturday, August 03, 2013

Revisiting San Francisco Part 2: The More Things Change...

Earlier this week I talked about all the stuff that had changed in the 15 months since I left the Bay Area.

But while I was there, I was just as excited to experience the constants. Like dining under a heat lamp in July.

Or dealing with weird construction projects at the cable-car terminus near Embarcadero Station.

Or almost getting run down by a bicyclist.

That last thing happened to me twice in about 10 minutes, though there was at least a modern twist to the experience.

First off, let me say that I never have encounters with bicyclists in New York — despite the much-feared Citi Bike program. But in San Francisco, these situations are a near-daily occurrence.

Photo courtesy of StreetsBlog.

On this particular occasion, I was walking to dinner on a foggy Thursday night. I crossed Market (with the light) and got buzzed by a guy on a bike.

I recovered and kept walking. Shortly thereafter, I accidentally stepped on a man in a sleeping bag. (Again, this sort of thing never happens to me in New York. But I feel bad about it, so let's not dwell on this part of the story.)

As I was crossing Folsom Street at Spear — again, with the light — a bicyclist nearly knocked me down.

I looked up in time to see the guy was wearing Google Glass. He glanced back at me (using facial recognition to enter me into a database, no doubt) and sped away.

Photo courtesy of TechRadar.

Friends, I was so horrified/delighted that it took me at least an hour before I even tweeted the experience.

So I guess things in San Francisco have changed a bit. But mostly people are using new things to do the same stuff they've always done.

I think that's actually comforting.